More than 30 years after joining Mercury Marine, senior marketing manager Rick Mackie is retiring from the company, Mercury Racing announced in a blog post Friday.
Mackie has been the public contact for customers and media for years at Mercury Racing and worked with industry luminaries Fred Kiekhaefer, Reggie Fountain and Bill Seebold. Mackie’s last day with the company is August 16.
“I’ve made some incredible friends in the industry over the years,” Mackie told Poker Runs America. “I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next and feeling my way through.”
Mackie, 57, joined Mercury Hi-Performance in 1988 as a product support specialist, handling merchandising at races across the United States and Canada. Two years later, Mercury Marine acquired Kiekhaefer Aeromarine Motors and made it the company’s high-performance division. That’s when Mackie began to work with Kiekhaefer and transitioned to a marketing communications role.
In the late 1990s, Mercury Hi-Performance became Mercury Racing, a standalone company within Brunswick Corp. Mackie was part of the group that took Mercury Racing from supporting race teams to creating sterndrives, outboards and propellers for high-performance consumers.
Mackie continued to be the public contact for Mercury Racing after Kiekhaefer retired in 2013 and worked under Erik Christiansen (now with Cigarette Racing) and current general manager Stuart Halley. Mackie helped lead Mercury Racing through major product launches including Verado outboards and QC4v 1650hp in 2013.
On the Mercury Racing website, Mackie is a prolific writer producing pieces on poker runs, new company products and insights about the high-performance industry.
“Rick has always represented Mercury Racing with the perfect blend of personable humor, product knowledge, and professionalism,” said Steve Miller, Mercury Racing director of marketing, sales and service, in the Mercury Racing blog. “He has had a life-long passion for our brand that is simply unparalleled. We are all going to miss Rick tremendously, and we wish him nothing but the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
Mackie said he plans to spend more time with his son who is in high school. And Mackie, who is a drummer, wants to play in bands and keep making music. He also wants to take a long-planned skiing trip to Colorado with friends, which he hasn’t been able to do in years past because of the demands of the Miami International Boat Show.
Mackie has been a supporter of Mercury Marine since his days growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, building tunnel boats with his older brother. The family boats were always powered with a Mercury engine, Mackie said.
“It was kind of my destiny to work at Mercury,” he said.